Newsletter #220

June 13, 2003

Greetings Accumulators!

When one of these Friday newsletters falls on the 13th I like to take a moment to think about superstitions. Other people's supersitions amuse me, perhaps because I don't have many of my own. I will not, however, ever place my handbag on the floor, because someone once told me "it signifies poverty". Not to mention that the floor is a dirty place. If you have, or have heard of an unusual superstition, please let me know about it. No black cats or walking under ladders, please - I want the weird ones only.

Poor eBay. It is not content to be considered the world's largest garage sale; a place for collectibles and other flotsam. No, eBay has ambitions. It wants the world to think of it as marketplace for all things, including new items, and fixed price items as well. So, eBay decided to sponsor a designers' show house in New York City. Each of six designers was given a different room in a Beekman Place penthouse apartment to decorate, with varying budgets and the stipulation that all or most of the items used to furnish the rooms had to be purchased on eBay. And guess what? The designers with the most eBay experience bought mostly used or old things. The only ones who bought new things were the two with no eBay experience, and they found it a tedious way to shop. So eBay is still stuck down here with the rest of us scavengers. For now, anyway. There is a web site associated with the project and beginning Monday, there will be a virtual tour of the apartment. On October 23, the contents will be auctioned to raise money for Alpha Workshops, a design studio that trains and employs people with H.I.V. In the meantime, the apartment will be open for view in person to The Trade only. Yes, that would be me, but I'm not going. So, go take the virtual tour.

If you are a longtime reader of this newsletter, you know that we Accumulators have a penchant for stories about stupid criminals. This one is about a person who was not so much stupid as ignorant and out of the mainstream. A beggar in Bulgaria was going through the trash behind an accessories factory looking for salvageable metal when she came upon $7,000 worth of gold jewelry. There was a 10 per cent reward for the jewelry, which had been mistakenly tossed out by a maintenance worker, but the woman, Assia Mladenova, assumed it was left there by fleeing robbers. So, she buried it in a vineyard. When Mladenova tried to sell some of the pieces back to the factory, she was caught by police and forced to return it all - with no reward. Okay, so maybe she is stupid.

Wan Song, an Alaskan woman, borrowed $50,000 from friends and relatives to pay for her husband's surgery. She never shared this information with her husband. Instead she hid the money. Can you see the potential for mishap here? Mrs. Song wrapped the money in aluminum foil and sewed it into one of their children's old teddy bears, which she then hid in the back of a cupboard. The family then decided to participate in their church's white elephant sale. So they took a whole bunch of miscellaneous stuff down to the church. The sale was such a success that the church began to run out of items to sell. Mr. Song decided to go back to their house to see what else they could part with. Yes, I know what you are thinking, Dear Accumulators. More predictable than "All My Children". Mr. Song rummaged around in the cupboard, found the teddy bear and took it down to the church. It was promptly snapped up by a woman with two young girls. They paid $1 for it. Mrs. Song was understandably upset when she heard the news. At first she told no one, but then decided that if she made herself known, the buyer would take pity on her and return the bear, so she made a public appeal to have the bear returned to the family. The buyer should have no trouble locating Mrs. Song. She's the one in the corner hitting herself on the head with a hammer.

Carthalia: If you are a collector of old postcards, then you know how it is. You start out with one subject. You're only going to collect that one topic. The next thing you know, you have albums and shelves and rooms full of old postcards. They are fascinating and educational and there's never an end to the collection. At Carthalia, we see the collection of one Andreas Praefcke of Germany. His collection encompasses cards from all over the world. The theme is theaters. And boy does he have a lot of postcards depicting theaters! They are organized by country - don't miss the cards from Kazakhstan - and within each country, by city. Worth a look!

Oh, don't even ask what we're doing this weekend. The weather is so awful again, we are agenda-less. Although, there is an interesting charity auction in Monticello, New York tomorrow night. It's at Malek Auction Sales, 956 East Broadway. The proceeds will be used to benefit the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance. This information courtesy of Rich Delia of Ferndale Marketplace in Ferndale - a not-to-be-missed antiques center if you're in the area. HWITLOML and I will try to make it if we can. Have a great weekend, Accumulators. Happy hunting!

2003 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #220
U.S. Library of Congress
ISSN 1520-4464


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1996-2003 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.